A newborn who was found alone and covered with ants Saturday in central India allegedly was abandoned because she is a girl.
According to police in Bhopal, India, someone found the infant after they heard her cries from inside a trash container, the Daily Mail reports.
A local businessperson Dheeraj Rathore told police:
“I was passing by the bin when I heard the cries of a baby. I was shocked to see an infant’s head sticking out of a red polybag in a garbage vat among the bushes. Ants were all over her head and body.”Rathore and several others nearby helped clean off the baby girl as they waited for police to arrive, according to the report.
Police said the baby girl was severely underweight, weighing 3.5 pounds, and remains in critical condition at a local hospital. According to police, she also had bruises on her body that could be signs of physical abuse.
Authorities said they are looking for the parents.
In the past few years, other reports of girls being buried alive by their families also have surfaced in India. In 2012, the BBC reported the father and uncle of a newborn girl were arrested after they allegedly tried to bury the girl alive in Pilkhua, India. In that case, a graveyard caretaker rescued the girl.
Last year, LifeNews reported about another gruesome case where an Indian woman’s in-laws allegedly poured gas on her and tried to set her on fire because they believed she was pregnant with a girl.
Experts estimate millions of girls are missing in India due to sex-selection abortions and infanticide. Culturally, girls often are viewed as financial burdens because of dowries and other practices.